Lights Of Heaven (Zabeel – I’m In Heaven, by Volksraad) was just touched off in a photo in last year’s running of the Group 2 Hollindale Cup but she arrived in time to claim the 2013 edition of the Gold Coast event.
Shez Sinsational (Ekraar – Original Sin, by Shinko King) beat Lights of Heaven narrowly in 2012 but nothing was going to stop the Peter Moody-trained mare atoning for that loss on Saturday.
The race panned out perfectly for Lights Of Heaven and her jockey Luke Nolen with a smart early speed spreading out the field, allowing the daughter of Zabeel (Sir Tristram – Lady Giselle, by Nureyev) to get in to a good trial, one off the fence, from her outside gate.
Lights Of Heaven took time to hit her top when pushed by Nolen at the 600 metres but knuckled down to her task from the 200 metres to overrun the game Transporter (Commands – Portrait Collector, by Sir Tristram) late. Foreteller (Dansili – Prophecy, by Warning) closed late to get within a long neck of Lights Of Heaven and denying Transporter second place.
“That makes up for her head defeat in this race last year and it might be a good sign going forward to the Doomben Cup,” Moody said. “She was second in that race as well last year so hopefully this is the turning point.
“She’s been a tremendous mare for us winning a Group 1 race as a three-year-old and going on to win multiple times at Group Two and Group 3 level.
“The good thing is we get to have a crack at putting another Group One on her CV in a couple of weeks’ time and the further she goes the better she’ll be.
“She was probably a bit dour today but she’s just looking for more ground and the step up to 2000 metres next time in the Doomben Cup and 2400 metres in the Brisbane Cup after that will be ideal for her.”
Lights Of Heaven’s Hollindale Stakes win was her sixth stakes win of a career that has also reaped victories in the Group 1 Australasian Oaks, Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup and the Group 2 Moonee Valley Fillies’ Classic. The five-year-old became the third of Zabeel’s progeny to claim the Hollindale Stakes, following previous winners Coalesce (Zabeel – Essylt, by Artaius) and champion Might And Power (Zabeel – Benediction, by Day Is Done).
Lights Of Heaven is the best performed of five winners from as many foals to race out of I’m In Heaven (Volksraad – Cent From Heaven, by Centaine). The mare foaled a colt by Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer – Starlight Dreams, by Black Tie Affair) in 2011.